Along with my Labour colleagues, I am today calling on the Government to reverse its decision to lift the ban on bee-killing pesticides, known as neonicotinoids. This pesticide is seriously harmful to Britain’s dwindling bee populations and will only further damage biodiversity and worsen the climate and ecological emergency. The Labour party supports our farmers but ending this ban is not the solution to tackle crop blight.
In 2017 Environment Secretary Michael Gove said that “the weight of evidence now shows the risks neonicotinoids pose to our environment, particularly to the bees and other pollinators which play such a key part in our £100bn food industry… We cannot afford to put our pollinator populations at risk.” He also said: “Unless the evidence base changes again, the Government will keep these restrictions in place after we have left the EU.”
This move is therefore a worrying indication of the Government rolling back hard-won environmental gains after Britain has left the EU, which would be breaking their manifesto commitment to “not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards.”
My colleague Luke Pollard, the Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has written to the government to urge them to reverse lifting the ban, and to call for a vote in Parliament so that this can be properly scrutinised by MPs. I will do everything I can to campaign against the lifting of this ban.